About This Project


I’m Steven Capsuto, a professional translator living in New York City. In 2014, while doing background research for a Jewish genealogy article, I became fascinated with the wealth of writings about Jewish life that were left behind by past generations, containing vivid, first-person accounts of their communities. We can’t travel back in time to interview our great-great-grandparents, but this is the next-best thing.

The Between Wanderings Project focuses on Jewish life and culture of the 1850s–1920s, told in the words of people who lived in that era.

It has two components:

  1. The Between Wanderings blog contains excerpts of memoirs, diaries, letters, articles, fiction and other texts written by Jews in many countries (and occasionally by Gentiles who took an interest in the Jewish world). Most entries will include photos as well as links for further reading. Some of the material will be new translations into English. Here are the sorts of posts you can expect:
    • An immigrant family caught between tradition and assimilation in 1890s Boston
    • A profile of Jewish schools in the Middle East in the early 1900s, with lots of photos
    • Moving accounts of holiday celebrations among Jewish soldiers in World War I
    • Classic, lovely short stories by authors such as Sholem Aleichem
    • Descriptions of “proto-bat mitzvahs” in 19th-century Italy
    • A collection of evocative, colorful Sephardic proverbs
    • Links to classic Yiddish music recordings of the 1900s to 1920s
    • A look at New York’s Lower East Side at the turn of the last century
    • …and many other treats!
  2. The Between Wanderings book series: Classic Jewish-themed books of the 1850s–1920s, newly translated into English. Some were written by Jews and others by non-Jewish allies. Currently available:

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